Tourism and Economic Realities in the Caribbean

  • Andrew Spencer


The economic importance of tourism to Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and indeed to the wider global economic system cannot be overstated. As has been shown in Chaps.  1 and  2, most Caribbean SIDS depend heavily and some almost exclusively on the tourism industry for economic sustenance. In the Bahamas, for instance, tourism accounts for 70% of national income (Karagiannis, N., & Salvaris, C. D., “Tourism and Economic Development in the Caribbean and Jamaica: Towards an Alternative Developmental State Framework.” In I. Boxill & D. Ramjeesingh (Eds.), Tourism Reader for the Caribbean [pp. 122–139. Kingston: Arawak Publications, 2013]). Tourism is far-reaching in the global economic chain because it appears in every sphere of most economies. It involves the movement of persons, the production of goods and services, the development of accommodations and attractions and facilitates the employment of millions directly and indirectly. The Caribbean tourism economy has shown remarkable resilience and growth. In 1970, the Caribbean region welcomed close to 4 million tourists and more than 30 years later this has skyrocketed to over 17.1 million, achieving an estimated rate of increase of around 5% per annum (Karagiannis and Salvaris).


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Spencer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of the West Indies, BahamasNassauBahamas

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